Audi's sponsorship deal with the Yankees is unique
and marks a new revenue stream in The House That
George Steinbrenner Built. (Image courtesy NY Post)
(CLICK TO SEE IN LARGER VIEW)
The Taj Mahal that is new Yankee Stadium will remain “Yankee Stadium”, but for those that are visiting the Bronx Bomber’s new digs, they will attest that its outer façade is ruse masking a highly-tuned revenue making machine within its interior.
With an increase from 18 to 57 luxury suites, new Yankee Stadium sees whole sections with corporate naming rights attached, something completely absent from The House That Ruth Built.
From H&R Block to Budweiser; Delta Airlines to Mohegan Sun, the stadium is as much a tribute to corporate sponsors as it is to the Yankees’ storied past.
And that’s just the corporate sponsors that cover areas of the ballpark
While the Yankees declined to provide a complete list of sponsors, the scoreboard and outfield walls sees ads space for the likes of PepsiCo, AT&T, Casio, Metlife, Zales Jewelers, Toyota, Ford, and Hess to name a few.
In Sunday’s edition of the New York Post, (see IMPORT W/PINSTRIPES: GETTING THE AUDI NAME REVVED UP), I report on the details of one of the most unique sponsorship deals in all of sports at the franchise level.
The three-year sponsorship agreement is a first for Audi at the major league franchise level, and includes corporate signage, hospitality, and marketplace activation rights. The deal is a marriage of Audi of America and dealerships in the Tri-State area where approximately 20 percent of Audi’s nationwide sales occur.
As reported in the New York Post:
Despite the gains, Audi is not the first German luxury-car brand to come to mind for many Americans. So jumping at the opportunity presented when ailing GM didn't renew its deal, Audi inked a deal with the Yanks that will provide it with unusual opportunities to get its brand before millions of baseball fans, including:
* A members-only Audi Yankees Club perched overlooking the left-field lower deck featuring dark woods, the Audi logo on the doors, napkins and throughout the room
* The right to park an Audi in the vast Babe Ruth Plaza several times a season so fans can get an up-close and personal feel for the brand
* Signage both inside and outside the stadium.
"We can do a lot of hospitality for high-end clients, and dealers can do a lot of relationship marketing with existing customers," Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer for Audi of America, said of its Yankee Club. "Plus, the people who are in the lounge who are unaffiliated with Audi will be exposed to the branding."
With limited word count space for the Post article, here’s some additional details...
As for the signage, it includes the corporate name and logo on the façade of the club, as well as traditional “behind-the-plate” rolling advertisement that will appear at the bottom of the 5th inning during every game of the regular season.
Dealers in the Tri-State area have access to tickets (distribution has not yet been determined) where dealers have access to the club on game days for business entertainment purposes.
As to whether you will see television ads on YES with Derek Jeter or other Yankee players as pitchmen for Audi, that is not part of the agreement.
Finally, the Yankees and Audi would not disclose the financial teems of the deal. The annual figure is based on several sports business analysts’ feedback, as well as general feedback from Audi of America. When factoring in the numerous in-stadium naming rights deals and sponsorship placement, new Yankee Stadium has struck some as scenes from a Mall.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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